Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Mega-Banzai and I

Customers always seem to think that their problems are by extension my problem. And that the normal laws of supply, demand and merchandise seasonality magically do not apply to them once they've decided they want something.

Summer merchandise started appearing on our store shelves in March. Which, if you live in the southern United States, is not really too early. It is HOT here. Well, from month three to month ten is a span of SEVEN months. We've gone through the fall/back-to-school merchandise cycle and are rapidly moving into winter.

So, deciding that little Sonny Num-Nums has to have a $200 kiddie water slide that you saw on the shelf in March for tomorrow's birthday party isn't really my problem. You just want it now because you think you can get it on sale.

So the sales associate in Toys tells the woman we don't have any more. She comes up to Customer Service.

First, she wants me to check the computer to see if we really do have another one. We don't. Then I have to check for the larger size. And the smaller size.

And then I have to start checking the computer for the closest stores that have the one she wanted the first time around. And then the larger size. And then the smaller size.

There aren't a lot out there. Only one or two stores still have them. I politely tell her "This is early summer merchandise. We stopped ordering this in June."

"Well, I'm getting one for his party," she goes. And she finally decides on the middle size, the one that started the whole mess. I look in the computer and find out that the store out by the Interstate allegedly has three of them.

I tell her. She goes "I was there last week and I didn't see them. I want you to call and have them hold it for me. I'm going to go get breakfast at McDonald's. I'll be back in ten minutes."

And off she rolls. With little Num-Nums in tow. I start dialing and getting put on hold. And I get cut off. I call again. Hold. Cut off. Call. Hold. Cut off. Well, what did I expect? Calling a Wal-Mart on a Saturday morning?

Then I try a SuperCenter just across the county line that's really close to the Interstate. I stay on hold forever. She comes back and says "I'm ready to go."

When I tell her that I still haven't talked to anyone at either store, she gets angry at me. "I just don't like the service I'm getting today."

Oh? Well, I don't like the attitude I'm getting from you. And I've spent 40 minutes on the computer and on the phone trying to find seven-month old clearance merchandise that you're probably going to return the day after tomorrow anyway.

I finally get a person at one store - and they're out. She's really unhappy now. "I've got to have one for his party" she keeps saying, as if repeating it is going to matter to me.

I just call my supervisor and tell her to get a manager. I've had it with this crazy woman. "I just don't like the service I'm getting today." -- I have never in my life heard such inane crap come out of someone's mouth - especially when I've done nothing but actually TRY TO HELP YOU!


Anonymous said...

You know something Blue Vest?? I am so glad I don't live in FL or even visit down there. A

Anonymous said...

I've read many of your blog entries and I've determined a theme--you hate your job! Why don't you just find something else where you don't have to deal with the public? You wouldn't have the stress you do now. Or do you like to complain as much as your customers?

Anonymous said...

Customers are evil. Especially those "women of a certain age"!!!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if some of these shoppers are really space aliens sent to earth to harrass sales clerks. LOL!!!

MiKell said...

Please don't listen to the first two anonymouse posters.

You go WAY out of your way for your "customers" with absolutely not "thank you"s.

Screw 'em. Next time, I'd suggest faking the call to the area stores and just saying that they are all out of whatever item they want.

Anonymous said...

Hey MiKell, I want BluVest to continue the blog, I just could not live in FL with all those folks with such HIGH EXPECTATIONS!! A

just tip me said...

Yep fake the call. i would the minute she said that to me. everytime i am at walmart i look at the service desk and think of you. smiles!

Greg said...

You nailed it a few days ago by cursing the "customer is always right" mentality. That does not imply, "You should stock it in case I want to buy it" or "I get to order you around like a servant." Instead of "I want you to..." what happened to "Will you please...?"

a former "People Greeter" said...

And a "Thank you for your time and effort..." doesn't hurt either.

(greg said "Instead of "I want you to..." what happened to "Will you please...?")

Anonymous said...

Huge fan of the blog, first time commenter. You absolutely rule. I've read your entire blog and it keeps getting better. Thanks for keeping it up!

cdawn said...

just found your blog today - love it. I am an associate at sams club (for those of you who don't know walmart owns sams club) and see myself in your comments. I don't work at the membership/returns desk but we all deal with the attitude that they pay $35 or $40 a year to treat us like slaves. They also seem to think that they are the only ones who pay and should be put in front of the others. I have friends at the returns desk and they have several times returned a cake that was a full sheet when purchased and came back half gone with the explanation that "I apparently only needed a half sheet" We refunded the price of a sheet cake and resold a half sheet.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE your blog. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one in the mistreated customer service boat. I work at a Toys R Us down south and I have had the exact same experience with that exact same slide on numerous occasions. It never ceases to amaze me how most customers think that they are the only ones who matter in any given situation.

robertaelee said...

I love your blog. I work at a Wal-Mart "down south" and this is the way it is. The customers you try to help the most are usually the least appreciative. Ahhhh, humanity. The poster who determined you hate your job has apparently never worked in retail. I like my job but the griping and complaining is a very cheap form of therapy.